Pellet stoves have become increasingly popular in tiny homes and private properites in general.
Their deisgn features allow them to provide an eco-friendly solution to tiny house heating by burning fuel cleanly and efficiently.
Although there are many advantages to tiny house pellet stoves, there are also a few cons as well which we will discuss in this article.
We’ll also cover how pellet stoves work in tiny houses, what types of mini pellet stoves are available and even how to install one in your small space.
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How pellet stoves work in tiny homes
Pellet stoves in tiny houses work in a very similar way to wood-burning stoves.
They both burn fuel to create radiant heat, which warms up the air in your tiny home.
However, there are a few key differences.
The main one is the type of fuel they burn.
Pellet stoves use small wood pellets which are made from compressed wood fibres. The source of the pellets may vary depending on the manufacturer, but the most common are leftovers from industrial sawing.
Another feature that makes pellet stoves unique is the way the fuel is fed into the burning chamber or firebox to be burnt.
Rather than having to add more logs to a tiny house wood-burning stove every couple of hours, pellet stoves instead use a mechanism called an auger to push pellets gradually from where they are stored (the ‘hopper’) into the firebox.
This means that some tiny house pellet stoves are able to act as thermostats themsevles, since the auger can be timed or controlled remotely. The more pellets that are pushed into the firebox, the more heat is created and vice versa.
For these reasons, pellet stoves have grown in popularity in residential properties, especially tiny houses.
Like wood stoves too, they must use a flue to expel waste products, so this has to be built into your tiny house roof or wall, adhering to guidlines.
Do they make mini pellet stoves?
Yes, mini pellet stoves do exist.
Since pellet stoves have the potential to put out a large amount of heat energy, they have to be made small enough for residential properties and tiny homes.
Mini pellet stove sizes range from 20 to 35 inches in width and depth and up to 40 inches in height.
They can weigh from 50 to 200 pounds and can provide around 5,000 BTUs of energy.
What is the smallest pellet stove available?
The smallest pellet stove available that we could find was the Serenity Pellet Stove by Castle Pellet Stoves.
This model is 18.5″ wide by 23.75″ long and is 34″ tall.
It’s thermostat controlled and therefore won’t overheat your small space. This increases its efficiency too.
Another small pellet stove we found was the Cleveland Iron Works Mini Pellet Stove.
It doesn’t claim to heat as larger areas as the Serenity pellet stove, but is lighter and can be controlled over wifi.
How to install a pellet stove in your tiny house
A tiny house pellet stove uses a flue that can be installed via the roof or wall. It’s a fairly straightforward process but needs to be gotten right.
If your tiny house is mobile, consider whether your property can accomodate the additional height or width that a pellet stove flue will add.
Here’s a video guide on how to complete a DIY pellet stove installation:
Best tiny house pellet stove options
What options are there for your tiny house pellet stove?
Here are a couple of the best-rated ones we found:
This pellet stove could be an option for heating your entire home. It has some serious BTU output and can also be programmed to provide the best heating experience.
Another tiny house pellet stove option is this mini pellet stove by Cleveland Iron Works.
It’s a considerably smaller option in terms of potential output and hopper size (18 lb capacity compared to the Comfortbit’s 47 lb capacity).
However, it’s can be remote controlled and even connect to wifi for added convenience. It also comes with some bonuses that you can discover here.
Lastly, we recommend stocking up on Wood Pellets for your tiny house pellet stove.
Here’s a great option for you to consider:
Pros of tiny house pellet stoves
Efficient energy output
Tiny house pellet stoves are considered more eco-friendly than wood-burning stoves.
One of the main reasons is thanks to their design. The stove and the chamber where the pellets are burned has strict air control.
Rather than just heating the body of the stove, many tiny house pellet stoves push out hot ait too. This heats up your tiny house more quickly and is makes efficient use of all the heat generated.
Studies show that pellet stoves are more efficient than wood-burning stoves.
Wood pellets themsevles burn very cleanly. They produce less particulates and ash compared to wood stoves because the pellets contain no wood bark and are very dry.
Since less ash is produced, in theory you shouldn’t have to clean out your pellet stove as much as a wood stove!
There’s more combustion and more of the fuel is turned into heat energy, meaning increased efficiency and lower emissions.
Pellet stoves, like conventional heating systems in tiny houses such as HVAC or electric heaters can be timed or controlled remotely.
They can also have an in-built thermostat feature to auto-regulate the temperature in your tiny house.
When the desired temperature is reached, the auger slows or stops the release of wood pellets from the hopper to reduce the amount of fuel being burned. This is how the stove regulates the temperature by itself.
This also adds to their overall efficiency as they are not burning more fuel than needed and overheatiny your property.
Cons of tiny house pellet stoves
Tiny house pellet stoves can only run on one specific fuel source: wood pellets.
These have to be stored in or somewhere dry near your tiny house.
Some people argue that storing logs for a wood-burning stove is more conveient and looks better compared to wood pellets.
Also, more often than not, you won’t be able to make your own pellets or even find somewhere local that supplies them. Therefore, the only way for some people to acquire wood pellets is to order them online.
This brings us on to off-grid living…
Pellet stoves can be complicated when living off-grid in your tiny house.
As we mentioned before, having to source pellets online and get them delivered may not be very convenient or even possible if you’re living off-grid.
This means you’ll have to make special trips for your wood pellet fuel, rather than being able to create them yourself (like you could with a wood-burning stove).
Furthermore, pellet stoves require electricity. This is to power the auger that moves the pellets (as well as any other features your stove has).
Although there are ways to generate electricity while living off-grid, it’s certainly a factor to consider.
Wood-burning stoves or other heating solutions (like tiny house propane heaters, for example) don’t have this issue and can be used off-grid without a worry.
Simply put, because tiny house pellet stoves have a more complex design and mecahnisms than wood-burning stoves, they can be more costly to repair.
Although maintenance is not required as frequently, mini pellet stoves require more specialist expertise for complex repairs.